19 year-old goalkeeper Freddie Woodman is currently away on International duty with the England U19 side and he’s expressed his frustration at not being able to make his Newcastle debut last season, after he had looked good in pre-season in America and was on the bench lots of times last season for the Magpies.
Freddie is the son of former Newcastle goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman, who is now back working for Crystal Palace with Alan Pardew and there have been rumors that a number of clubs (including Palace, Freddie’s former club) are interested in the 19 year-old, who has one year left on his contract at Newcastle.
Freddie Woodman on loan at Crawley last season
The plan last season was for Freddie to be out on loan at League Two club Crawley Town and he played 12 games there before Tim Krul picked up that serious knee injury last October and Freddie was recalled.
Freddie went onto the Newcastle bench immediately since at the time Karl Darlow was also injured.
And then when Rob Elliot picked up his serious knee injury in late March, Freddie was on the bench again as Karl Darlow went between the sticks, but the youngster never did make his debut last season.
This is what the young up-and-coming goalkeeper has to say about that on Newcastle’s web-site:
“I’ve been close to making my debut so many times,” “At the end of the season, I’d been on the bench nearly 30 times and not to get a game is so frustrating, but I’m still young, I’m still learning.”
“I’m at my happiest when I’m playing, but I have to keep going, be patient and I know my chance will come as long as I keep my standards high and keep the good habits that I’ve got.”
“If I can come back here and I’ve got a chance of having a crack at the first team, I’ll definitely give it a go.”
“I felt like I came back more respected after the loan spell,” “I’ve played games in the league now, and I wasn’t just a kid from the academy coming up. I felt good in myself, I felt confident, I felt strong.”
“I’d come off the back of 12 good games in League Two, three or four good clean sheets, so I was happy.”
Newcastle are well stocked with goalkeepers at the moment with Krul, Elliot, Darlow and young Woodman and the plan this season will be to get Freddie some games out on loan.
But Tim Krul may not be ready for first team action in August and Rob Elliot is certainly not ready, so Freddie may even be on the bench again in the early games.
Woodman is a star in the England U19 team, along with Adam Armstrong, and they will both be in Germany during the summer for the U19 European Championships with England.
Woodman’s development last season was certainly impacted by the injuries to both Krul and Elliot and it will be important for Rafa Benitez to get this very promising goalkeeper some games out on loan, where he can further develop his undoubted skills.
Maybe a club in League One would be the best bet for Freddie.
Rafa certainly has lots of work to do this summer and he also looks almost like a one man band at Newcastle, but he’s also a very experienced and world-class as a manager.
And it’s not too surprising that Freddie is a little frustrated with what happened last season – but these things happen in football.
What do you think?